Thursday, March 15, 2012

open letter to my mother

Dear Mom,
There's a lot I have to tell you now that I'm a mother, too. There's a lot I've learned in just a year about what it means exactly to earn the mom title. And now that I have the title, I realize that I have a big THANK YOU note to write. I know I can never repay everything you did and all you sacrificed, but I hope that in learning each day what this privilege brings I can at least be a little better grateful.

Though I'm hesitant to admit it, it's entirely possible that I wasn't the world's most perfect baby. In fact, it seems that all first-borns, despite their reputation, must be a major shock to new parents. Thanks for bringing me into the world, for following your gut on how to raise a new baby (I think I turned out okay so whatever you did works for me!), and for staying with me for the first week of Little E's life and teaching me - in a hurry - all of that.

Even before that, thanks for driving in the middle of the night to the hospital when you found out I was going in for emergency surgery. I know if I thought anything could potentially happen to Little E I would do the same thing. It's nice to have someone there who does that for me. Thanks for being concerned about Hubby, too, as you thought he was sitting all alone in a hospital room with little to no information about his wife and hopefully new child. It means a lot that you are still concerned about the things that concern me.

Back to that first week and the teaching thing. Thanks. From the beginning. I was trying to feed Little E early on and realized that the reason I know how to use a spoon is because you took the time (and what a lot of time!) to teach me. How to use a spoon. How to use the toilet. How to brush my teeth. How to take care of a screaming infant. And everything in between. I hope that teaching gene got transferred. I now appreciate it even more as I try to teach Little E all those tiny life skills that take so much repetition and patience. Thank you.

And now as you enthusiastically embrace the Grandma title, thank you for doing that with 110% of who you are. Little E is so blessed to have such a loving, vibrant, and supportive extended family all around. Her cute little room in my old bedroom, hundreds (is that close?) of "I love Grandma" articles of clothing, babysitting, energetic playing, and reading to her.

Finally, thank you for making me say thank you. All those thank-you notes we had to write at Christmas ("Who is that from? Did you check the label? You can't just rip-snort through the gifts!") and birthdays were good practice for the many more things in life that I would get to say thank-you for. Gratitude is such a critical part of a happy life, and I am so grateful that you taught me that it was important. Thank you.

Now, I really should go figure out how to get Little E to write her first batch of birthday thank-you cards....guess that's me, too, huh?

Thank you mom. I love you!

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